by Jes™s Mena
Determined to maintain academic excellence, to extend access to education and to keep California at the forefront of technological innovation, campus officials formally launched the New Century Campaign to raise an historic $1.1 billion by the year 2001.
The campaign sets the most ambitious fund-raising goal in history at a public university. It was formally approved by the Board of Regents Sept. 20.
Already, the campaign has raised more than $480 million in a little more than three years, during the so-called "quiet phase." That amount exceeds the total raised by the campus's previous five-year campaign.
The "quiet phase" was led by Peter E. Haas, Class of '40, who chaired the Chancellor's Campaign Cabinet, a panel of influential alumni and friends. Haas was awarded the Berkeley Medal at a Sept. 20 campaign gala for friends and supporters held at Doe Library. The evening featured entertainment by campus musical groups, a reading by author Joan Didion, a Berkeley alumna, and a "visit" by Benjamin Ide Wheeler who rode up to the library on horseback.
At a press conference Sept. 19, Chancellor Tien explained that the campaign emphasizes student, faculty and program support, as well as campus outreach.
"This campaign is not just about money," said Tien. "It's about people. It is a bold effort on our part to redefine our relationship with the public we serve. With this campaign, we are positioning Berkeley to continue its historic role as innovator into the next century."
Tien said public universities have hit an historic crossroads as government funding declines, while the costs of teaching and conducting research rise. This critical juncture comes at a time when the fast pace of technological innovation escalates the need for universities as both educational and research institutions.
C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr., vice chancellor for University Relations who is overseeing the campaign, said the success the campus has had to date makes him extremely optimistic about reaching the ambitious goal.
"We have been overwhelmed at the tremendous enthusiasm and generosity among our alumni and the friends of Cal," said Mote.
"We want to go even further. We must develop broad-based public support for the campus and for higher education. Our efforts will ensure that Berkeley will continue to help keep California at the forefront of the nation."
The enhanced focus on outreach to K-12 and on public service is reflective of the campaign's effort to redefine how the public views public universities.
"Traditionally 'public' has referred only to institutions supported by state taxes," Tien said.
"We think the state definitely has a continuing responsibility to provide that core support for higher education.
"But through this campaign, we are challenging the private sector, the Cal alumni and the tens of thousands of friends of Cal to invest in Berkeley for the public good.
"We are encouraging them to become an enthusiastic part of the new public support network that we need to continue as a world center of scholarship and opportunity.'
The campus has received major gifts from business leaders from the Silicon Valley to Asia, including a $15 million gift from Intel's Gordon Moore and his wife, Betty; and $15 million from alumni and friends in Taiwan.
Also raised in the quiet phase of the campaign was a $15 million gift from Peter and Mimi Haas as well as the largest gift ever to the campus -- a $25 million anonymous contribution.
The six main objectives of the New Century Campaign include maintaining academic excellence; the pre-eminence in the sciences and engineering; pre-eminence in the arts, humanities and social sciences; ensuring educational opportunity; improving student life; and the chancellor's Millennium Fund
"This campaign is vital for the renewal of the faculty and our continuing pursuit for excellence," said John M. Quigley, professor of public policy and economics and chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate.
"It will increase the resources on the campus for both research and pedagogy. The future of the next generation of faculty depends on the success of this fund raising campaign."
The campaign will appeal to Berkeley's 321,000 alumni and friends worldwide. About 10 percent of all alumni give to the campus -- a low level of participation compared to other top universities.
Already, however, there has been a marked increase in the rate of giving during the campaign. Key donors have been giving at three to five times the level they did in the last campaign.
Since 1993, Berkeley has received 167,600 separate gifts from alumni and friends.
Tien said he was elated with the progress of the campaign to date.
"We are laying the groundwork needed to ensure that our campus will remain a leader in the nation into the next century," he said.